A pediatrician’s advice to parents on how to handle change in mask policy

Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most settings, but most children are not yet eligible for the admission. What Should Families Do?

SPOKANE, Washington. Last week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that the state no longer requires fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public. That means you can go out without a mask for two weeks after your last dose unless a specific company asks you to keep it on.

But kids 12 to 15 years old only recently became eligible for the Pfizer injection, meaning it will take a few more weeks for them to be fully vaccinated. Children under the age of 12 still have no chance at all.

The state says this means that those children must continue to wear masks in public. And a pediatrician KREM spoke to says this is definitely the safest course of action.

“I think the best policy at the moment is that kids should keep wearing their masks. I think that in order to model good behavior, parents should wear their masks when they are in those public situations,” said Dr. Jennifer Kalisvaart. “Kids do for the most part what their parents do, for good or bad. So if parents can model that good behavior, or even older siblings, can model that good behavior, it becomes easier for the younger children to do it. . “

At the start of the pandemic, there was some concern that children, in particular, would struggle to meet mask requirements, but most research to date suggests this was not the case.

‘What we have seen is the opposite. The kids have been great. They are very black and white … followers of rules, and so they knew they had to wear their masks, ‘said Kalisvaart. “Kids will do whatever they need to to see friends and be around people. And really, good modeling by parents or older siblings is key.”

So even though the virus is usually milder in children, if you have them, it is probably best for your entire family to stay hidden in public for the time being, whether you have been vaccinated or not.

“They don’t usually get that sick, although some kids can get quite sick. And I feel like a parent, even that low percentage, if it’s your kid, that’s a lot,” said Kalisvaart.

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